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Cutting Out Toxic Influences Brings Peace

If reading or watching certain things causes you to feel stressed, anxious, upset, angry, or worried, it is okay to “fast” from those things.

Why let someone or something rob me of the peace of Christ?

Social Media

If scrolling through your social media feed involves you seeing a lot of people arguing and being upset with each other and then you feel upset or you just tend to feel jealous of other people’s lives if you look at social media, you can stop.

You can limit yourself to 10 minutes per day on social media. Or you can only check the feeds of certain people who encourage you. You can choose to fast from social media for a week or two. Or a month. You can close your account, if needed. Or set up certain friends’ feeds to not show as you scroll if you know that person’s posts will be a temptation to react in ways that aren’t pleasing to the Lord.

The News

If watching or reading the news stresses you out, you don’t have to spend hours consuming that information every day. Ask your husband or a close friend to let you know if there are important things you really need to know. But consider taking some time away from the news, if needed.

You may love to know what is going on and want to pray for world leaders, countries, and current events. But if you are spending a lot more time reading people’s thoughts, wisdom, and opinions and not sitting at the feet of Jesus, you could get into trouble with worry. I know I can!

Movies/Books/Shows

If reading certain things creates a feeling of resentment in you and dissatisfaction with your real life, your husband, your kids, your house, your job, etc… Maybe you could cut those things out.

For example, if you consume romantic literature or movies and then resent your husband for not acting like the romantic lead in a fictional scenario, maybe those things are not healthy for you.

Or if you watch a home improvement show and then hate your house and current life situation, maybe that’s not the best way to spend your time. Why not rather focus on gratitude for what you have right now and making the best of it?

Friends, Neighbors, and Coworkers

If you realize that when you hang out with certain people, you end up arguing a lot, feeling upset, gossiping, or complaining, maybe it would be wise to change what you are doing.

If you can’t keep yourself from changing your attitude and actions, there are times when it could be wise to limit your contact with people who encourage or tempt you into sin like disrespecting others, hating others, tearing others down verbally, etc…

God’s Wisdom for Us

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 1 Cor. 10:23

“If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to depart into hell.” Matt. 5:29-30

Jesus is not saying to literally cut off body parts, rather He is saying if something continually trips you up, (going to a place where alcohol is served, being online with a computer with no accountability, hanging out with a friend who hates your husband), get rid of the stumbling block that trips you up and leads you into temptation.

Let’s seek to get rid of toxic input into our lives as much as we can and feed ourselves healthy spiritual food.

Healthy spiritual input includes things like reading the Bible, spending time with a godly mentor, prayer, praising God, thanking God, serving others, spending time in nature, obeying God, etc…

Also, it is wise to take good care of your body. Your body needs sleep, a healthy diet, and proper exercise to function well. You feel better when you take care of yourself. No one else can do this for you.

When you are spiritually and physically healthy, rooted in Christ and full of His peace and joy, then you can be a huge blessing to your husband, children, and others around you.

You are ready to be an instrument of God’s peace to pour His abundant Life into others’ lives.

PS:

If you are hormonal, exhausted, sick, grieving a significant loss, or in a lot of physical pain, these times can be even more important to put a filter on the input you are receiving to reduce your stress and increase your peace.

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Are there things you have to sometimes avoid in order to have more peace in your life?

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Some Conflict Is Inevitable

The Strength of Gentleness

The Ugly Anatomy of a Negative Thought Spiral

Baby Steps to Take Our Thoughts Captive for Christ

6 thoughts to “Cutting Out Toxic Influences Brings Peace”

  1. Well this topic has been on my mind a lot. I have been working with a staff member for a few years now. There have been difficulties but it has started to cause me a lot of stress lately and my thoughts have been negative. I had decided to ask my manager if I could have some space from this person. I have felt bad about this but something has to give. She understands the difficulties and I have tried to address some of these but nothing changes for long. I don’t want to get to a place where I thing so badly of someone and I can’t take the stress home anymore. I found it hard to decide how to deal with this as a Christian. This co worker I have found to be challenging and intense personality wise as well as other work issues. I have tried to be loving and patient as I know I should. I have snapped a couple of times and always apologise. I don’t go around work putting this person down as much as I have wanted to at times. I have confided in a couple of close friends at work that I’m struggling. Has anyone else experienced this type of things?

    1. Beth McLaughlin,

      I am so very sorry you are experiencing this stress. It makes it difficult to go to work with a good attitude.

      I have experienced things like this in previous jobs, too. It is very stressful! There can be many ways to approach difficult people and to engage in necessary conflict respectfully. Of course, we pray for them and for us. We pray for wisdom about how to respond. We can take care of any sin on our end. We can seek to understand the other person and make appropriate adjustments in our approach. We can ask for what we need if we are being mistreated. And we can go to our manager when things aren’t improving.

      There are some times things are so toxic that it can be necessary to create more distance. I eventually left two jobs where I had extremely toxic coworkers (after much prayer and wise counsel from my husband).

      I have some resources I could share that may be a blessing if you are interested.

      Much love!

    2. Definitely!
      I have encountered people who are so negative and toxic in the way they treat others, that I have had to distance myself from them. I always feel bad at first because of God’s command to love my neighbour, but at the same time, if someone is robbing me of peace, I have learned that God himself would want me to distance myself.

      For example, I had a friend who was extremely negative, bitter, angry, hateful and rude. I kept telling myself to be loving and forgiving and eventually she will change and I stayed in the friendship for years even though she was dragging down my spirit and causing me pain and stress. After meeting with a therapist, I realized that I don’t need to feel obligated to maintain a friendship with someone who is affecting my spirit negatively and I cut her off completely. Although I felt a lot of guilt and sadness about having hurt her feelings, I also felt like a huge weight was lifted off my back. Since then, I have flourished as a person and everyone who knows me has remarked on how I’ve grown and changed into a more positive, peaceful and loving person. I feel like I’m free to be myself.

      God does not want us to be around people who make us miserable and stressed. We are meant to choose our associates wisely.

      Here are some Bible quotes on this issue:

      Proverbs 22:24-25
      Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.

      1 Corinthians 15:33
      Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.

      Proverbs 12:26
      The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.

      Proverbs 16:28
      A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.

      Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

    3. Here are some posts that may be a blessing. I can’t get them to link right now. But I added them at the bottom of the post, as well.

      Six Scenarios When We May Need to Break Contact with Someone

      Some Conflict Is Inevitable

      The Ugly Anatomy of a Negative Thought Spiral

      Baby Steps to Take Our Thoughts Captive for Christ

  2. Thanks for the great comments girls this helps me a lot. I look forward to reading the links April. Hopefully my boss will be able to move my co worker to a different unit. I will continue to be kind and friendly but the break will be welcomed. If there were no options for a break I definitely may have considered a move of jobs. Seems extreme but inner peace is so important. I have been praying about it. I have a great relationship with my manager and she knows where I’m coming from. God has kept her heart soft towards me several times when times have been hard. I am often placed with difficult staff because I’m seen as calm and kind natured where others may refuse to work with them. But I too have a limit and would rather not get to the point where I ruin my testimony.

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